It seems to be fashionable to criticize every thing that millennials do. Even clothing, color choices, emphasizing fair wages and human rights have all been targets. The millennial generation has real problems with the constricting norms of modern life, and some not so real problems created by instant personal access to each other.
Millennials seem to have lived their entire lives on the internet. Social media sites make it all too easy to see where people are and what they are eating, doing and wearing at any given moment. This transparency in personal privacy opens up private lives for scrutiny at an alarming rate and has been used to stalk, harass and otherwise cause undue distress.
Unfortunately, employers, friends and even tech support prefer to use social media as a means of communicating because it has created the illusion of personalization. The appeal of having a personal connection with every aspect of life is a huge draw to social media outlets that outweighs a desire for privacy. The real question is how to break free from the deep needs for instant validation. Detaching from social media can feel like it extracts a huge toll in the cost of friends, family and exposure for every thought and idea someone could feel like sharing. In short, it’s socially equivalent to suicide if people lack other basic communication skills.
Telephone etiquette is a lost art, but there are many resources for making your personal and professional interactions effective and efficient, if not pleasant. Basic telephone conversation allows you to hear your loved ones’ voice or speak to a real person when you have problems with a service or device. The same fulfillment received from comments garnered from near strangers can be duplicated with a good conversation with real life friends.
If your hobby is following magazines and newspapers, a lot of publications still print physical editions for a fair price, giving people incentive to leave their homes and spend time reading without the important subjects summarized for them. Most of the famous photographers in the magazine industry do gallery shows as well, providing a valuable opportunity to appreciate their work contextualized as art. Without leaning on social media to provide easy to digest news and culture, an entire world is opened up through the lens of the person looking as opposed to the aggregate of people on friends lists.
In short, social media is forcing young people to live very public half-lives and impairing interaction with the real world. The only cure is to cut the cord.